Tag Archives: Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC)

Seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition”: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

A seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition” was held on 01 July 2015 at the BARC Auditorium, Farmgate, Dhaka. The seminar was jointly organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The key speaker of the seminar was Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division, FAO Headquarter, Rome, Italy. Before joining FAO, Kostas was teaching Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is a Greek national, he has a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Berkley. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Executive Chairman, BARC presented the welcome address. The seminar was introduced by Dr. Mike Robson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh. The designated discussants of the seminar were Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Former Director General, BIDS and Dr. Sazzad Zahir, Executive Director, Economic Research Group (ERG). The eminent economists Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam, Former Adviser to the Government; Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Former Adviser to the Government and Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF also discussed on the topic in the seminar as guests of honour. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Member, General Economics Division (GED), Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh chaired the seminar. Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis presented a seminar presentation on “Meeting International Hunger Targets: From Commitment to Action”. Dr. Kostas mentioned in his presentation that the number of undernourished people in the world in 2014-16 is 795 million and the number of undernourished people in developing countries is 780 million. He also mentioned that a decline by 167 million in the number of undernourished people was observed in the last 10 years. It was also revealed from his presentation that the highest number (281 million) of undernourished people live in South Asia followed by Sub Saharan Africa (220 million) and East Asia (145 million). He pointed out that MDG1 hunger target to halve the proportion of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was almost reached but the WFS goal to halve the number of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was missed. He also mentioned that 72 countries including Bangladesh achieved MDG1 hunger targets. Dr. Kostas mentioned in the summary of MDG1 hunger target that MDG 1c hunger target is within reach with additional efforts and MDG 1c target had already been reached in 63 countries. He also pointed out in that summary that the WFS goal will not be achieved and the WFS goal was achieved by only 25 countries. He also identified some key factors for success in reducing hunger which are rural markets, economic growth, family farming and social protection. In his presentation, it was also revealed that the poverty headcount ratio in Bangladesh was 24.5 in 2014. It was also found that in Bangladesh the number of undernourished people is 26.3 millions and the prevalence of undernourishment is 16.4% in 2014-16 and thus Bangladesh achieved the MDG1 target. Dr. Kostas observed some environmental components which enabled this success. The enabling environment for this great success comprises of high level commitments, policies, investments (financial and in capacity), governance and evidence-based decision making. Dr. Kostas listed the following points as way forward:
 Strengthen food production diversification
 Invest in public goods and services such as infrastructure
 Adapt to climate change is essential to sustain food production in a sustainable way
 Boost market-driven initiatives and community participation in Social Safety Net programmes
 Improve nutritional outcomes by strengthening the focus on program targeting
 Diversify diets while supporting local productions systems
 Enhance food safety practices; Formulate food safety regulations/standards
 Integrate FSN (Food Security and Nutrition) in all relevant policies and programmes including the new NFSNP-POA and CIP
 Strategic coordination of FSN related policies across sectors (MUCH)
 Integrate FSN, especially Nutrition in Sectoral policies and programmes (MUCH)

Seminar on Floriculture Development in Bangladesh :Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin

A national seminar on Floriculture Development in Bangladesh was held on 18 May,2013 in the Seminar Room of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) under the sponsorship of the Second Crop Diversification Project (SCDP) of the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE).It may be mentioned that Second Crop Diversification Project (SCDP) is funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) which is being implemented in 52 Upazilas of 27 districts of southwest and northwest regions of Bangladesh.It is one of the most vital projects implemented by Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) under the guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture of Bangladesh.

 

The day-long event was participated by flower growers,flower traders,policy makers,representatives from concerned ministries,universities,research bodies,department,media and related organizations.

The inaugural session of the seminar started with recitation from the Holy Quran under the chairmanship of Mr.Mukul Chandra Roy,Director General,Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE).

Mr.Md.Hamidur Rahman,Project Director,Second Crop Diversification Project (SCDP) welcomed the participants in the important seminar.

Dr.N.K.Dadlani,International Floriculture Specialist,Second Crop Diversification Project (SCDP),presented the keynote paper.The keynote paper embodied the all aspects of the  flower industry of Bangladesh .Dr.Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan,Director(Support Services),Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI),Dr.Wais Kabir,Executive Chairman,Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Mr.Anwar Faruque,Additional Secretary,Ministry of Agriculture and Director General,Seed Wing presented valuable remarks on the keynote paper as special guests of the seminar.

Mr.Mike Robson,the FAO Representative in Bangladesh spoke in the seminar.He wished the seminar on floriculture development in Bangladesh a success.

Dr.S.M.Nazmul Islam, Secretary,Ministry of Agriculture  who graced the seminar as the  chief guest presented his precious remarks with  assurance of promoting the flower industry of Bangladesh.

The inaugural session of the seminar was concluded with the remarks of the chair Mr.Mukul Chandra Roy,,Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) and vote of thanks of Mr.Abul Ashraf.DTL,SCDP.

There were two Technical Sessions in the  seminar .The Technical Session I entitled,’Flower Production Systems’ was chaired by Dr.Khalequzzaman Akand Choudhury,Member Director(Crops),Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) while the Co-Chair of the session was Dr.M.Mofazzal Hossain,Professor of Horticulture,Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University(BSMRAU),Gazipur.

Dr.Farjana Nasrin Khan,National Floriculture Specialist,Second Crop Diversification Project (SCDP) presented her paper in this session as the lead discussant.

Dr.Kabita Anjuman Ara of BARI,Mr.Sudhir Chandra Nath of BRAC and Mr.Md.Sher Ali Sardar,pioneer farmer of commercial floriculture in Bangladesh discussed as panelists in this session.Many participants including  Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin, Retired officer of DAE also discussed in this important session.

Technical Session II, entitled,’Flower Market Development’ was chaired by General Manager(Seed Wing),Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation(BADC).

Mr.Reza Ahmed Khan,Assistant Chief,Department of Agricultural Marketing(DAM)  presented the lead discussion.t

A number of panelists and many participants discussed on this aspect of flower industry.The panelists were  Mr.Abul Ashraf.DTL,SCDP,Dr.Md.Anisur Rahman,HORTEX,Md.Abdur Rahim,President,Godkhali Flower Farmers and Flower Traders Welfare Society and Mr.Babul Proshad,President,Dhaka Flower Traders  Welfare Society.Among the participants Professor Dr.Golam Rabbani,Department of Horticulture,Bangladesh Agricultural University,Mymensingh contributed valuable points on the basis of his long association with flower growers and traders of Bangladesh.

The last event of the seminar was Plenary Session which was graced by Dr.Mihir Kanti Majumder, Secreatary ,Rural Development and Cooperative Division as the chief guest.The special guests of this session were Mr.Zahir Uddin Ahmed ndc,Chairman,Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation(BADC) and Mr.Mukul Chandra Roy,Director General,Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE).The session was chaired by Mr.Md.Khalil Azad,Additional Director(Administration & Personnel),Department of Agricultural Extension.

Mr.Md.Hamidur Rahman,Project Director,Second Crop Diversification Project (SCDP) presented the draft recommendations of the seminar.

Draft recommendations of the seminar were as follows:

1.Study for developing comprehensive information across the floriculture value chain.In doing so,DAE  existing field staff can be

used for conducting such survey,data and information collection.

2.Developing a quality planting materials supply system(BARI—->DAE/BADC/Private Sector/Large NGO—->Flower Farmers) using nurseries,BADC and following nursery guideline.

3.Facilitate establishment of market infrastructure.In doing so,DAE should form a committee to identify concrete steps for  using the NCDP central market in Gabtoli.

4.Although floriculture driven,local demand also should be given emphasis.

5.Use of reefer vans purchased under NCDP should be used for transporting flower to the market from production areas.

6.Varietal developmental through strengthening research and development system.

7.Mass multiplication of quality planting materials.

8.Developing and strengthening capacity of human resources engaging research,development and extension through training and study visits.

9.Improve scientific post harvest technologies development and dissemination.

10.Design and establish proper poly houses.

11.Involving more women in the floriculture industries.

12.Encourage involvement of the private sector specially the large NGO e.g.BRAC.

13.Consider BARI regional centre Jessore/or the centres nearby flower  producing areas with focus on floriculture.Also link BADC Jessore with this centre.

14.Develop better coordination between technology developers and extension agencies and link them suitably with technology users(farmers).

15.Assign a Deputy Director of Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) in charge of  extension,coordination and monitoring of floricultural activities.

16.Make available the inputs (imported) other than seeds with no taxes or minimum taxes.

17.Arrange floriculture loan with low rate of interest.

18.Specialized cold store should be established for flower seeds.

19.Identification of marketing constraints(backward and  forward linkage) and designing inventions to overcome such constraints.

20.Flower should be included under crops and develop variety wise production target at upazilla level in order to plan and make available the required planting materials,inputs and technologies.

21.A national guideline should be developed on Floriculture Industry.

22.Introduce  new/modern varieties of flowers from abroad and establish their multiplication  facilities at HDTC units of DAE.

23.Undertaking or proposing any post-harvest investment (e.g. transporting flowers by reefer vans) should investigate the cost effectiveness otherwise the cost might be higher than the sale price.

24.To reduce the production cost of gerbera appropriate (quality) polyethylene should be manufactured.

25.BARI should develop low cost cooling system for corm (rhizome).

26.Arrange construction of packaging and storage shade for unsold flowers.

27.Freight policy in Bangladesh is not favorable towards exporting flowers,government should change the policy to make  it favorable to small flower farmers.

28.Market management and leasing arrangement policy need to changed to make it more favorable for not only for flower farmers but also for other HVC farmers.

After the presentation of draft recommendations the special guests and chief guest spoke on various aspects of the draft recommendations.Director General,Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) emphasized that the survey should be simple.

He also assured to propose Credit Norms for sanctioning loans for flowers  to Bangladesh Bank.

Mr.Zahir Uddin Ahmed ndc,Chairman,Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation(BADC) informed that capacity building is under process of DAE through  the Revisit Plan in which floriculture will be given due importance.The proposed revisit plan proposed to divide the present Food Crops Wing of Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) into two wings:1.Crops Wing, and 2.Horticulture Wing.There will be required number of personnel in Horticulture Wing to cater  extension services to all components of horticulture e.g. floriculture, vegetable culture, fruit culture and spice culture.

Dr.Mihir Kanti Majumder, Secreatary ,Rural Development and Cooperative Division presented  the speech  of chief guest emphasizing the scope and means of floriculture industry of Bangladesh.

The Plenary Session of the seminar was concluded with the remarks of the chair, Mr.Md.Khalil Azad and vote of thanks of Mr.Md.Anwarul Hoque,SM&EO,SCDP.

I hope that  the seminar  may be very  instrumental in promoting the flower sector of Bangladesh.